Prestatyn

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Coordinates: 53°19′52″N 3°24′18″W / 53.331°N 3.405°W / 53.331; -3.405

Prestatyn
Prestatyn-Panorama.jpg
Aerial view of Prestatyn
Prestatyn is located in Denbighshire
Prestatyn
Prestatyn
 Prestatyn shown within Denbighshire
Population 18,496 (2001)
OS grid reference SJ065825
    - Cardiff  171.9m 
    - London  233.9m 
Community Prestatyn
Principal area Denbighshire
Ceremonial county Clwyd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PRESTATYN
Postcode district LL19
Dialling code 01745
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Vale of Clwyd
Welsh Assembly Vale of Clwyd
List of places
UK
Wales
Denbighshire

Prestatyn /prɛˈstætɪn/ is a seaside resort, town and community in Denbighshire, Wales. It is located on the Irish Sea coast, to the east of Rhuddlan. At the 2001 Census, Prestatyn had a population of 18,496.[1]

History[edit]

Prehistory[edit]

There is evidence that the current town location has been occupied since prehistoric times. Prehistoric tools found in the caves of Craig Fawr, in the nearby village of Meliden, have revealed the existence of early human habitation in the area.

Roman[edit]

The Roman bathhouse is believed to be part of a fort on the road from Chester to Caernarfon. However, much of 'Roman Prestatyn' has been destroyed as houses have been built over un-excavated land.

Medieval[edit]

The name Prestatyn derives from the Old English preosta ("priest") and tun ("farm"), and was recorded in the Domesday Book as Prestetone.[2][3] Unlike similarly derived names in England, which generally lost their penultimate syllable and became Preston, this village's name developed a typically Welsh emphasis on the penultimate syllable and a modification of "ton" to "tyn", as also happened at Mostyn.[4] Although the Domesday Book only extended to demesnes in England, Prestatyn was included since it was at that time under English control.

An earth mound, visible in fields to the south of the railway station, near Nant Hall, marks the site of an early wooden motte and bailey castle, probably built by the Norman Robert de Banastre about 1157, which was destroyed by the Welsh under Owain Gwynedd in 1167.[5][6] The Banastre family then moved to Bank Hall in Lancashire.

The town appears to have been primarily a fishing village for hundreds of years. The beginning and end of High Street today mark the location of two 'maenolau' (or manor houses) called Pendre (translated as "end of" or "top of town") and Penisadre ("lower end of town").

19th century to present[edit]

The town's population remained at less than 1000 until the arrival of the railways and the holidaymakers in the 19th and 20th centuries. "Sunny Prestatyn" became famous for its beach, clean seas and promenade entertainers, and visiting for a bathe was considered very healthy by city-dwelling Victorians. During the Second World War the holiday camps were used as billets for British soldiers, many of whom were also sent to live with locals. Despite being close to Liverpool, the area was not bombed by the Luftwaffe, but was one of the few British towns to be bombed by the Regia Aeronautica (the Italian Air Force) in June 1941. Despite this, many evacuees came to Denbighshire from various northern cities.

Prestatyn was the home of the first ever UK Kwik Save supermarket in 1965; Prestatyn was also the home of the firm's business headquarters. The Kwik Save store was renamed Somerfield following a takeover in 2007, and was finally demolished in 2008 when surrounding land was bought by Tesco.

The North Hoyle Offshore Wind Farm was opened in 2003. Situated in Liverpool Bay, 5 miles (8 km) off the coast of Prestatyn. It was the UK's first major offshore wind farm. It comprises 30 wind turbines with a combined maximum capacity of 60 megawatts - enough to power 40,000 homes if it was sustained.

Description[edit]

Although Prestatyn remains a tourist destination and resort town, the town is diversifying in response to the decline of the British seaside holiday. The NHS is planning to open an elderly care facility in the town to serve north Denbighshire, and the opening of big name shops and supermarkets looks set to increase the town's status as a shopping centre. Renovation of the Scala Cinema started in February 2007, providing a digital cinema with films, exhibition and theatre venues.

Work is under way on the revival of the Ffrith Beach Festival Gardens. After a troubled few years when the seafront site has lain deserted, attractions are planned, such as tenpin bowling, quad bikes, dance studio and yoghurt bar, to breathe fresh life into the resort.

Attractions[edit]

The town is located at the northern end of the Offa's Dyke Path, although not on Offa's Dyke itself. It also marks the eastern end of the North Wales Path, a long-distance coastal route to Bangor. Other attractions include the remains of Roman baths and the nearby Neolithic mound, The Gop.

Prestatyn hosts the qualifying rounds of many snooker tournaments at the Pontin's Holiday Centre, which was the location for a 1973 movie of the popular British TV series, On The Buses.

Transport[edit]

Prestatyn railway station is on the North Wales Coast Line which connects the town with Holyhead to the west and Chester to the east. Bus services are provided by Arriva North West and Wales.

It is on the main London Holyhead line with the majority of trains stopping at Prestatyn itself making it within easy reach of London.

Notable people[edit]

See Category:People from Prestatyn

Notable people from the town include Harold Bird-Wilson, Neil Aspinall, Peggy Cummins, John Prescott, Mike Peters (The Alarm), Carol Vorderman (who was brought up in the town), Karl Wallinger (of the band World Party), author Emyr Humphreys and the leading ornithologist Jonathan Elphick. Middlesbrough F.C. goalkeeper Danny Coyne was born in Prestatyn.

Carnival[edit]

Prestatyn Carnival is an annual summer event in the town, and features field events, competitions and a procession. Each year, thousands take part in the festivities. The Carnival celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 2011. The traditional Carnival Parade takes place on the Saturday, and is followed by a Carnival Baby Competition later in the day. In 2008 the Carnival became a two-day event with the Sunday designated "Fun on the Field" day, providing a host of events include a talent show and dance competition. In 2011 the event reverted to its original 1 day.[7][8]

In 2008, Prestatyn Carnival Association revived the Miss Prestatyn title.

Cultural references[edit]

Philip Larkin once wrote a poem entitled Sunny Prestatyn. In it he describes a poster advertising the resort that is progressively defaced by vulgar graffiti.[9] Roddy Frame and Jeremy Stacey wrote most of Aztec Camera's 1995 album Frestonia during a three-week retreat at the Sands Hotel in Prestatyn. Frame later blamed the overcast and grim weather conditions resulting from Prestatyn being situated on the Irish Sea for the album's melancholy and gloomy tone.[10]

Sport[edit]

Local football side Prestatyn Town F.C. gained promotion to the Welsh Premiership football league having been crowned champions of the Cymru Alliance League 2007-08 season. As of 23 April 2008, planning permission for floodlights and seating has been granted[11] in order to meet the Welsh Premier grading requirements. The deadline for these upgrades was 1 May 2008[12] and, having passed these requirements, their promotion was ratified by the Welsh Premier League on 15 May.[13]

Prestatyn is also the town where many qualification rounds were once held in the sport of snooker, this included all the major snooker tournaments, and the World Championship. The qualifying rounds were held at Pontin's Holiday Camp. The qualification rounds have since moved to the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2001 Census: Prestatyn, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 20 June 2008 
  2. ^ Cheshire (places now in Wales): Prestatyn, The Domesday Book Online, retrieved 11 November 2008 
  3. ^ An Outline of Prestatyn, Virtual Prestatyn, retrieved 11 November 2008 
  4. ^ Wyn Owen, Hywel (1998), The Place-Names of Wales, ISBN 0-7083-1458-9 
  5. ^ Prestatyn castle
  6. ^ Prestatyn Castle at CastleUK.net
  7. ^ http://www.prestatyncarnival.org.uk  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ http://www.prestatyn.org.uk/carnival/  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Poetry Connection
  10. ^ Frame, Roddy; Day, Roger, Love, Warner/Chappel Publishing, ISBN 0-86359-516-2 
  11. ^ Football club's floodlight plan given go ahead, Rhyl Journal, 23 April 2008, retrieved 25 April 2008 
  12. ^ Prestatyn Town FC are Cymru Alliance champions, Rhyl & Prestatyn Visitor, 9 April 2008, retrieved 25 April 2008 
  13. ^ Prestatyn Town FC: Latest News, 15 May 2008, retrieved 20 June 2008 

External links[edit]